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February 2005 Newsletter

Hi Folks! First of all, thanks to everyone for your seed orders during the month of January. I am very encouraged about the future of this venture and hope to be able to continue offering seeds until I have exhausted the world’s supply of new cool plants! I’ll let you know when that happens. . .ha ha. After a month of frantically compiling my seed list, writing descriptions, launching a web page, and cleaning seeds, while at the same time taking and filling orders and trying to find a home for my plant collection (and taking 3 college courses), I think I have finally got this down to a fairly well refined process.

For my February 2005 Catalog I have revamped some of the plant descriptions, adding a little more detail and useful information where I can. More importantly I have also added the following new species to the list: Acacia dealbata var. subalpina, Agave celsii, Callistemon macropunctatus, Callistemon sp. aff. salignus, Eccremocarpus scaber (red), Eryngium eberenum, Eucalyptus gunnii (glaucous form), Eucalyptus gunnii ssp. archeri, Eucalyptus rodwayi, Fallugia paradoxa, Melaleuca quinquiveria, Melaleuca nesophila, Opuntia engelmanii (Las Cruces), Opuntia engelmanii (near Silver City), Opuntia fulgida, Opuntia macrocentra, Opuntia robusta, Opuntia fulgida, Sabal minor, Sabal palmetto, Yucca elata, Yucca faxoniana, Yucca schottii. A couple of January offerings have sold out already! Next year I hope to obtain a larger quantity of seed for those species and others I am running low on. My most popular item, as you might imagine, has been Washingtonia filifera from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I still have plenty left and they are very fresh, so get them while you can!

Of the new species I am offering for February, the most exciting would have to be Acacia dealbata var. subalpina. Celyn Vale Nurseries in Wales, who works with cold hardy Eucalyptus and Acacias, long ago sold seed of this species, but just a few gardeners in the US ever ordered it when it was available. I have some in my garden that are huge and flower every year, but do not set seed. Finally I have found a large one with seeds! Besides the fact that it is exceptionally cold-hardy for an Acacia, it is truly an outstanding garden plant and the color and texture of the foliage, the fragrance and showiness of the flowers are like nothing else.

One other plant I will promote is my collection of a very large, deep green form of Agave palmeri, coming from just south of Chiricahua National Monument, AZ. This area experiences about 30” of precipitation annually, and winter temperatures that may occasionally fall to 0°F – I think this should be an excellent larger Agave for the Pacific Northwest. Yucca schottii also comes from that area (at even higher altitudes, actually) and may prove to be one of the best trunking Yuccas for cold, wet climates because of the higher precipitation it is accustomed to! Lastly, if you have never grown Opuntias from seed, they are very fun to watch as a little prickly mass comes up from the fleshy green cotelydons. And once you have got one plant it is easy to propagate many more from cuttings/pads!

The plan now is to do a little more collection, especially of Australian and other Southern Hemisphere plants that may be collected at any time of the year. With a little luck I may even be able to offer more new species in March than I have for February! After March there will probably be a lull of several months while I wait for this year’s seeds to ripen. Also in March, I am hoping to launch this endeavor in a more official capacity with an all-new website! Stay tuned for further details.

Best of luck with your seeds, and remember I am always at your disposal to field questions regarding seeds/plants, or any problems with your order—just drop me a note!

May your plants live long and prosper, Ian.

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